Three Britons contract Zika virus


Source: Xinhua   2016-01-24 03:06:01

LONDON, Jan. 23 (Xinhua) — Three British travellers who traveled to south and central America and returned to Britain have been diagnosed with the Zika virus, which may cause brain deformities in babies.

Public Health England confirmed Saturday that, as of Jan. 18, three cases associated with travel to Colombia, Suriname and Guyana have been diagnosed in British travellers.

It said the virus does not occur naturally in Britain, which was first isolated from a monkey in the Zika forest in Uganda in 1947. Symptoms of Zika include low-grade fever, joint pain, rash, conjunctivitis, headache, muscle pain and eye pain.

Scientists also believe it is linked to microcephaly, or abnormally small brains, in newborns. Thus, women in Brazil, Colombia and El Salvador have been advised against becoming pregnant during the outbreak.

Eighteen countries and regions in the Americas have confirmed cases, such as Barbados, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guatemala, Guyana and Haiti.

Most cases of Zika virus are acquired via mosquito bites. A small number of cases have occurred through sexual transmission or by transmission from mother to foetus via the placenta.

Local media said Saturday that the three cases are believed to be the first to be confirmed in the country, but no more details of their current conditions have been published.

So far, there is no specific antiviral treatment for Zika virus, and no vaccine or drug could prevent Zika virus infection. Supportive nursing care and relief of symptoms are the standard treatment, said Public Health England.

Categories: . Enhanced Disease Transmission

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